November 15, 2014

Vacation 2014

It's no secret we love to travel.  We get to travel a lot for my husband's work, but when we travel on our own we do some budget traveling.  Our kids have a week long fall break every year and it is the perfect time to catch some great off season deals.  This year, we decided to go to Destin, Florida and found a gem of a place on VRBO.  We always use this website when we book travel because it is so much cheaper and we find that the owners of the rentals are almost always willing to negotiate- especially when it's not peak season.

Speaking of seasons... some of our kiddos have been stuck in a weird season.  It was starting to feel a little tense and I was kind of nervous about traveling (especially 13 hours in the car all together).  However, it was FANTASTIC!  Aside from a three hour time span one day of the week where we thought the children may take each other out hunger games style, it was such a lovely week.  The kids rolled with it.  They all played TOGETHER on the beach and in the pool and there was none of the typical "I feel left out" type of thing we deal with at home.

And that's why we travel.  To make precious memories.  To do something different.  To be different people.  To connect.  My vacation self is a lot nicer, a lot more patient and a lot slower to anger.  I've decided it's all the fried food we eat on vacation.  Fried food makes me a kinder gentler version of myself.

It was so good to go and relax.  Our typical day was: go to the beach, go to the pool, go to dinner, go to bed.  Those are just the most perfect kind of days there are!  Our kids are usually pool people.  This trip they were beach people all the way.  No one had a fear of the ocean and they spent hours in the water looking for fish with their little goggles on and their heads bobbing up and down on the surface.

Here's a peek at our vacation album.

 First minutes on the beach... excitement was high, y'all.

Miles threw and insane amount of football on the beach.  Like for HOURS.  We finally starting walking up and down the beach finding teenage boys we could coerce into coming to play with him.  Teenage boy moms were happy to get their boys off their phones and we were happy because exhausting. 

Little heads bobbing about.  They found two stingrays and were THRILLED.  That kind of stuff sends me running for the hills.  

This boy and his sweet gap toothed smile.  Sigh. 

We went out on the Destin fishing pier one morning and saw an entire school of manta rays.  It was such a beautiful thing to get to see!

I'm calling this next series of photos "The Day Scarlett Got Overwhelmed With Vacation And Fell Asleep Everywhere We Went All Day Long"  It was almost like "Weekend at Bernie's"

 Still snoozing.

Car snoozing.

 Beach snoozing.

Pool snoozing. 

 Still asleep- standing up this time.  It's her superpower. 

Vacations are for reading all. the. books. 

"Mom!  I'm ready to go to the beach now!"

Muscles don't take vacations. 

We spent one morning at the Gulfarium.  It was so much fun!  They had dolphins and sea lions and all kinds of other fish. 

The Gulfarium is this future marine biologists happy place.

Oh mom. 

Mr. Cool himself.

I can not for the life of me figure out how this kid got this old.

Shark goggles are not just for kids, in case you were wondering. 

This one is not afraid of anything.   Just ignore the hair.  Vacation hair is just whatever.

Our boys got tired one night so the girls gave them a lift.  We have strong girls in this family!

Dads and daughters.  Love. 

When you eat goldfish on the beach, prepare to be in the middle of a bird stampede. 

 Birds are kinda scary!

Bird photobomb. 

Heading home!  Did I mention we took our dog on vacation?  She was not a fan.  She missed our living room rug too much.  It was so nice to come home refreshed and relaxed!  For a minute... until real life set in again.  Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to bottle our vacation selves?  I'm ready to go back!

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